Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Service 2009

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." ~ Romans 3:23

Tonight was a special evening on a number of levels. We shared a meal in advance, and enjoyed one another’s company over soup and sandwiches. This kind of fellowship is good for strengthening ties to our church family.

On another level, the Ash Wednesday service inaugurates Lent, a period of time leading to the Cross and resurrection, the centerpiece of Christian faith.

Pastor Brad opened by noting that the ashes used on Ash Wednesday are traditionally created by burning the dried palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. In this manner a certain continuity is created as we simultaneously prepare for Easter and remember it.

It was pointed out that the ashes on Ash Wednesday point back to the Old Testament notion of sackcloth and ashes, a sign of repentance and purification. In Matthew 11:21 associates sackcloth and ashes with remorse. Other verses referencing ashes include Numbers 19:9 & 17, and Hebrews 9:13.

There is a difference between penitence and repentance, Brad said. Repentance is identified with the will or volition, and indicates a turning around, a change of direction. Penitence is more a matter of the heart.

Ashes are also a reminder that we came from ashes and to ashes we will return. The service offers an opportunity for us to recognize our brokenness, and once again remember the wonders of His grace.

After the customary introit, worship and responsive readings, Pastor Brad shared a message.

That Pesky Word

Sin, he noted, is a word that is not used much anymore. The dictionary defines sin as a “transgression of divine law.” It is a willful wrong.

Nowadays we use different language. We say things like, “I made a mistake,” or “I goofed.” Sometimes we say “oops” as if it was just a stupid little mess-up or an error of judgment or “I didn’t know an better, shucks.”

We don’t like the word sin because it says something fundamental about what we are. If everything is just a mistake, then it’s not sin. And if there is no sin, then there’s no need for a savior. The solution for a mistake is to try harder next time, or study more and pay attention more, get more education, whatever. But if I am a sinner, I need a Savior.

Sin is indicative of intentionality. It was not just a goof up. It reflects something deeper going on.

If everything is just a mistake, then there can be no guilt.

When Jesus enters the situation, he not only says that being “good enough” to please God is a challenge, he raises the bar so high it is impossible. No one can be “good enough.” Yet, He says, “I love you.”

In other words, it is worse than you thought because you’re worse than you thought, and simultaneously God loves you more than you can imagine.

Jesus said, “I have come not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.”

The essence of Matthew 5 vs 21 and following is that (a) you’re a sinner, and (b) God loves sinners.

Until you embrace the fact that you’re a sinner, you’ll never embrace the Savior. People who see themselves as goof ups don’t need a Savior.

Brad then re-told the story of the Prodigal Son as found in Luke 15. After the son takes his portion of the inheritance and squander it, he reaches such a low point in his life that it would be better to be a servant for his father than what he is doing now. He returns home, saying, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”

The father’s response is remarkable. “Bring the best robe… “ and he puts a ring on the son’s finger… sandals on his feet, saying, “This son of mine was dead…”

The sooner we embrace the fact that we are sinners, the sooner we experience grace.

In Romans 3:23, Paul essentially says, “You owed so much there is no way you could repay it, so I had someone else pay the price.”

It’s not about figuring it all out and getting it right someday. The ashes are a symbol that say, “I can’t do it on my own.”

With this we came to the table at the front of the sanctuary in a ceremony named simply the imposition of ashes.

It was a very special service, and time of remembering the grace and mercy of God in Jesus.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting In The Game

"Good morning. I'm delighted you're here today." Thus began Pastor Brad's opening remarks on this, Transfiguration Sunday. He told us how Peter, James and John went to the mountaintop with Jesus whereupon the Lord was transfigured before them. They had a glimpse of who Jesus is. The net result was a desire to stay on the mountain, even build a monument. But the reality is, Jesus doesn't stay in one place and to be with Jesus meant having to move down from the mountain to be where He is moving.

1. There will be an inquirers class soon for those interested in membership. New members will be inducted Easter Sunday.
2. Wednesday evening there will be an Ash Wednesday service at 7:00 p.m preceded by a supper at 5:30. Lent is a time of new beginnings.
3. It is time to think about VBS and we are seeking two co-leaders. Contact JoAnn Winship.
4. JoAnn also shared that the women's Bible study is meeting at the church here 6:30 p.m.
5. Ruth Anne Schelinder noted that the annual meeting is approaching. The search committee is seeking to fill a several positions on the board including deacons and a treasurer.
The quartet of Chuck, Darlene, Dale and Ken opened the worship time with a rousing "Heaven On My Mind." Chuck read from Psalm 51 and we entered into a time of congregational singing.

Pam Johnson read today's Scriptures, II Kings 2:1-12 and Mark 9:2-9.

Getting In The Game

Pastor Brad began his message by having us read from Exodus 18. He said today's message was urgent, that he was calling us to come out of the stands and to get out onto the field.

He then told about a playoff game between the Yankees and possibly the Orioles in which Derek Jeter hit a long fly ball. Just before it fell into the Oriole outfielder's glove a kid in the the stands reached out with his glove and caught the ball, which was then ruled a home run.

A debate ensued as to whether the 12 year old kid had the right to interfere with the game. But the real point of the story is that there are two kinds of people in the world, the players and the spectators. Brad used the story to say we're really all called to be players, to be down on the field, not sitting up in the bleachers.

"Imagine that it's opening day at the new Twins Stadium, whenever that is," Brad said. And then imagine that before the game begins a bleacher bum climbs out of the stands and goes out onto the field. And then more follow, and these others do the same till there are 30,000 people out on the field.

Brad said there is a fundamental and tragic misperception about the nature of the people of God. In point of fact in the kingdom of God it was never intended that we should just be spectators. Yet this is how a lot of Christians think. The clergy, pastors, priests are the players. Lay people are just spectators in the stands.

In Exodus 18 we see the beginning of this new notion of sharing in the work of God, and not just being watchers.

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?"
15 Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God's will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God's decrees and laws."
17 Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."

In the passage Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, after observing Moses' leadership style, suggests that the power be spread out so as to involve the people. Moses listens and it becomes the beginning of God releasing His work of ministry to and through the people.

The rest of the sermon we were asked to consider five questions. These questions will reveal something about how we see ourselves and our role in the church.

Question 1: Do I perceive myself to be a minister of Christ?
Prior to the exodus from Egypt, the pattern of leadership with exemplified by Pharaoh. The power resided in the this one man. Brad jovially shared the slogan from the PGA Tour, "You Da Man," which indeed was what Pharaoh was.

Moses led the people out of Egypt and now he was "Da Man"... but God had an alternate structure in mind. As a result of Jethro's wise counsel, we see the beginning of the release of ministry to the people. And in the New Testament this comes to flower with all of us being priests and ministers, no more distinctions between the top dog and the rest.

The point Brad wanted each of us to get: "I am a vital channel through which God directs His life to others and to the world."

Question 2: Have I gotten in the game?
Are you actively serving the body of Christ and the world?

A guy named Greg Ogden wrote a book called The New Reformation in which he said there are two kinds of churches, the pastor centered churches and the people centered churches. God's will is for the people to get in the game and do the work of ministry.

Brad shared how Chuck V. has been ministering at the Salvation Army, and how meaningful it has been. Spectators tend to simply sit in the stands and just cheer or boo. Now is the time to use our spiritual gifts.

Question 3: Am I growing in ministry?
Too often, in pastor centered churches there's a player and a bunch of spectators who get stagnant. Here in Exodus 18 we see that the people were standing around from morning till night. But when people get into the game, they begin to solve problems. The corollary question here is, "Am I more, or less, motivated to serve the body of Christ today than a year ago?

Question 4: Am I helping others grow in their ministries?
Or to put it another way, are you helping people to discover and release their gifts?

Brad poked a little fun at Eric Borndal whose Christmas tree is still up as we approach March. Imagine, however, if not only the tree were up but there were still unopened presents beneath that tree. What if Eric's mom had given a very special present which was specifically for him?

Well, in point of fact God has given us gifts. It would be as foolish not to "unwrap" and use those gifts as it would be to leave Christmas gifts unopened beneath our trees. Within the context of the body of Christ we can help each other open and use our spiritual gifts.

Question 5: Have you eliminated every ounce of pride in your life?
What appears to to be a question somewhat sideways from the rest turns out to be particularly pointed as Brad reminds us of the spirit of Christian ministry. We were invited to look at Number 12:3 in which Moses is acknowledged as the meekest, most humble man in the world.

Moses could have been a "top dog" or carried himself like a big guy. But instead he knew he was called to be a servant, and he looked to one who was greater than he.

Brad pointed out that the Greek word for minister is diakonos or "one who serves." The word actually refers not to individuals but to all of us as a group. We do not come here to be spectators, but to be players.... and in the Christian life to be a player is to be a minister, or rather a servant to the body of Christ.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finishing Well

Sunshine on a chilly February morning, but lots of warmth in our sanctuary today as we prepared to celebrate another baptism, which always seems to bring out a little extra passion from our pastor Brad Shannon who welcomed us by noting today’s theme, Finishing Well. “None of us run this race alone,” he said. “As those who follow Jesus we do this together…. It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”

After announcements – a board meeting Tuesday evening, and the Valentine’s Banquet postponed till next Saturday – an Introit was played (Crown Him With Many Crowns) and Pastor Brad read to us Psalm 150, with its exultant celebration of music and song, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

A youth group from River Falls Covenant in Wisconsin had spent the weekend here with our youth. Two musicians, Ryan & Tyler, shared a song, followed by a time of congregational worship. The baptism of River Lee Strom came next, with special music by Ed Newman, O Love That Will Not Let Me Go. Brad reiterated a recurring theme from his ministry: “We’re in this together.”

After the children were dismissed, Eric Borndal read from the Scriptures: II Kings 5:1-14 and Mark 1:40-45.

During the time of prayer we remembered Leonard Armstrong who was hospitalized Friday evening while in the process of preparing his gift to the church, our Valentine’s Banquet, now postponed a week. Leonard joined Lillian Peterson at St. Luke’s Hospital, with Lillian having fallen on the ice while retrieving mail.

It was also noted at this time that a donation for $100 had been made toward a professional quality food processor to help Leonard and our other kitchen services contributors. The target is $300 if you wish to pitch in and upgrade our kitchen.

Finishing Well

Pastor Brad began by reading portions of Hebrews 11, initially pertaining to Moses in vss. 23 and following, but noting that many others have demonstrated their faith throughout history.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The message, in a nutshell, was this: "Just keep running. Just don't quit." But his sermon elaborated. He began by asking how many of us run for exercise. "Anyone tempted to quit?" he then asked. Laughter followed because that's the nature of running.

With marathons you especially see this pattern. In the beginning there's a kind of a high, a runner's high. All is well. How long this high lasts is directly related to the runner's condition. Brad jokingly said he lasts about seventeen steps.

Once the run begins there is a sequence that follows. After the initial exhilaration, there comes the laborious part, followed by exhaustion and fatigue. Then there's the wall. To keep going requires determination, and those who determine to finish must keep going.

The start is fun, finishing is hard. Finishing well is glory.

It's a metaphor for our Christian walk, of course. And to this end Brad asks, "Will you run the race to the very end? Will you finish well? Will you remain steadfast?" And once more he affirms, "Just keep running."

Returning the the life of Moses, around which our recent messages have centered, Pastor Brad picked up the thread of the story where Moses and Aaron finally believed that God indeed would do the amazing thing of liberating Israel by their hand. (Exodus 4:31)

In chapter 5 of Exodus, we see that, like the marathon runners, they begin boldly, with confidence. "Let my people go," Moses exclaims to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh, ruler of the world's greatest empire, is not impressed. Moses adds a "Pretty please" to the somewhat confrontational dialogue, and Pharaoh indeed responds by making life tougher for the Hebrews. Instead of supplying straw for their quota of bricks, they must now gather their own straw, with no diminution of the quota.

This is where Moses hit the wall. The Hebrews he had come to liberate were less than encouraging, a little more obstinate. To paraphrase, their response to Moses was, "You have made our fragrance stink."

Here's where we get tempted to quit. It seems like we're alone, that it's just us against the world. Moses was left alone with Aaron, with Pharaoh and Egypt and his fellow Hebrews against him. But Moses was not alone. And we're not either.

Moses turns again to the Lord. In chapter 6 God speaks to Moses: "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh... I will make Myself known..." What's more, God has not been indifferent to the suffering of His people. He has heard their groaning.

If you're going to persevere in this race, like Moses you will have to persist in prayer. Moses, every step of the way, kept turning to God. He begins, continues and finishes in prayer.

Brad then told two stories from the life of Jesus which were especially amusing because of the way Brad makes them relevant to our contemporary situations. The point of each is that God cares about us, our needs, our circumstances, and we are to seek him, with persistence.

Turning now to each of us, Pastor Brad asked, "Can you identify the greatest need in your life right now? Make a commitment to persevere... to pray saying, 'I'm going to do what Jesus commands me to do, no matter what.' Draw a line in the sand. Will you do that with me today?"

At this point, Brad revealed his motivation for being so passionate about this theme. "I can't have friends falling off the side of the road." His heart was thus opened up to us with that wide transparency so needed in our world today.

"Just keep running," he implored. "Don't quit, friends."

Amplifying these thoughts, he states that the church needs to be a place where we encourage one another.

Ultimately, however, the Bible is not a book about our persistence. It is a revelation of God's persistence. He will not give up on you. As it is written "I will never leave you, I will never forsake you."

This is the word of the Lord.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why Show Up

With a few days of warmer weather under our belts we arrived this morning bathed in the glow of sunny skies. Inside our little country church there was additional sunshine as today's worship service was entirely conducted by the women leadership of our church. It was a very special time.

Paula Saxin welcomed us and we began with a few announcements, taking care of the business before commencing with worship.

1. There is a rummage sale coming soon which will be a fund raiser for ministry and outreach purposes.
2. Secret Friend sign-up sheets are in the narthex. All women are invited to participate.
3. The Valentine Sweetheart Banquet is next Saturday night. Only $7 per person for a great meal, fellowship and musical entertainment by Dave Peterson.

Darlene opened with an introit followed by congregational worship. Robin Bergquist performed a moving rendition of the song Porcelain Heart during the offering.

Scripture readings included Hebrews 8:8-12 and passages from I Corinthians 12 about spiritual gifts and the life of the body. Pam Johnson led our prayer time. Then Brooke Shannon took the pulpit.

Why Show Up?

"Why did you show up today?" Brooke began. Why did you bother rolling out of bed and come here, especially since you only have two mornings a week when you can stay home and be with your family in the morning. She jokingly said she knows why her kids showed up. Because she made them... or maybe because they get free cookies and goodies.

Brooke noted that coming to church is a choice, whether it is out of tradition or whether someone made us come, or maybe you're just checking things out.

The better question however is this one, "Why NOT come?"

Brooke detailed three of the primary reasons she comes to church: because God is real, God cares, and God's covenant.

God Is Real
Because she grew up in Colorado, she has often compared her faith journey to climbing mountains there. Mountain climbing is difficult, but rewarding. It requires preparation and perseverance. At times, you are unable to see the peak, yet must continue... and once you have reached the top, achieved your goal, there is a wholeness you experience. You just sit, rest and soak it in.

Yet, ultimately as you hike back down the mountain to the reality of the valley where you live you hold onto to the truth you experienced up there. It is difficult to live on those high places.

Brooke shared how in spite of her faults and inadequacies, Jesus has allowed her to grow as a person, and she knows the Lord is by her side to help her do the best she can.

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." ~ I Peter 1:8-9

Brooke said God's character is very transparent. And we come to church because we know He meets us here. As Jesus said in Matthew 20:20, "Wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them."

Brooke laughed as she noted how she is occasionally hooked on reality shows on TV. She cited the show True Beauty as one example. The show isn't about external beauty alone, but on their inward as well. What she found interesting is that these people are all really just like us, desiring to be accepted and treasured. This is the reality of God... He loves us no matter what.

As the Scripture states in Hebrews 10:23-25...
23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

God Cares
The second characteristic of God that keeps me coming is this, that God cares. When we show up, our needs are met. Brooke noted how God works through others in our time together.

Many of us come here broken from week to week... Finances, relationships, work issues, family. We all experience hardships. And in our culture there is a tendency to discard broken things. So many things are disposable, from old razors, snack packs, cups, plates or replaceable, like TVs, computers, cars.

But here, in the fellowship, we find healing, wholeness. Where the world discards, Jesus redeems. To redeem means to rescue, save, deliver... Jesus came so we are not exchanged or cashed in.

Colossians 1:9-14 says, "9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

God's Covenant
The last characteristic of God that keeps Brooke coming is His Covenant. She shared her family's response when she told them on the phone that she was dating a pastor. Silence. When she said he was a pastor in the Covenant Church, they might as well heard her say she was joining a cult or convent.

But there's a reason Brooke says she attends a covenant church, not just because of the great location, cozy atmosphere, warm people or that her husband works here. She said she comes because she belongs. Having dedicated her life to Christ as a teen, she has found a home in the Covenant. She also said the Covenant name is distinctive to God's character.

The word covenant means an agreement between two parties. It's a solemn promise or vow, especially between God and people.

Brooke told about Abraham, the founder of our faith. But even with his remarkable faith and special relationship with God, Abraham messed up. In fact, the Bible is filled with stories of people who God used, despite their failings. God fulfills His covenants even though our human nature fails us.

Even when we fail, we're in it together. This is the nature of a church family. In fact, I hurt for others in our church family as if they were my own family, just as we celebrate and praise together.

We're all in this together, a church family. The church should be a place of unity with our diverse abilities. And we share common aims: to know God, love God and serve God.

I pray that you choose to show up because you too desire to be a part of God's kingdom, and participate in sharing it with others.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not Gonna Do It?

With the sun illuminating the sanctuary, Pastor Brad welcomed us in his usual warm fashion. Today, he said, the theme would be about saying "yes" to God's call. His message would address five objections that we often raise, but this was the main point he planned to make: The ultimate reality of who we are is no longer defined by our limitations. Instead of focusing on what we can't do, our focus needs to be on God and what He can do in us and through us.

1. Be sure to sign up for the Valentine Sweetheart Banquet if you plan to come. (Editor's note: if you are not planning to come, you should.)
2. Susie stood and pointed out the new wall hanging that the children created in Adventure Club, noting that every picture tells a story. Be sure to ask the children of our church family what their stories are about.
3. Building committee meeting Thursday evening.
4. The Christmas ornaments were fun to make and Paula said they will be doing them again on February 21st here at the church.

Chuck then read a moving passage from Matthew that closes with the statement, "All who touched Him were healed." It was a special lead in to the quartet singing "He Touched Me" followed by a very nice worship time.

Pastor Brad read from Exodus 3 and 4 to prepare us for the message.

Not Gonna Do It?

Brad began by sharing what he considered one of the most profound statements about the human condition by someone he admired from the first time he saw him. Most of us know him. He loves to sail, is in tremendous physical condition and eats unbelievably healthy food. His name is Popeye the sailor man. Not sophisticated or educated, just a pipe smoking, tattooed sea faring sailor.

When he was sad, or when he made a mistake, or when he felt inadequate... or when he was called on to do something he didn't feel capable of doing, he always said the same thing. "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam." It's the sad lament of the human race. In other words, don't get your hopes up.

After sharing his own shortcomings, Brad said it would be easy to excuse one's inadequacy by saying, "I yam what I yam." But God doesn't let it rest there. He has a purpose for our lives. This becomes Brad segue into the story of Moses.

Moses had fled Egypt and was living on the backside of the desert when one day he noticed a burning bush. The bush caught Moses' eye whereupon he turned aside to check it out. Moses could have walked past and missed it. But as a result of this turning aside, history was changed.

How about you? How are you at turning aside? That is, how do you do when it comes to turning aside to listen to God? Whether at home at the office, we can "turn aside" to appreciate moments of listening to God during the day.

In Exodus 3 God shows Moses His heart. God says he has heard Israel's weeping and seen the suffering of His people. And he lays out a plan with Moses at the center of it.

Moses objects. Who am I? I am not adequate. And I am a fugitive, and a murderer... I am not the guy.

God stays with it and says, "I know who you are. I created you, and I know everything about you. Your shortcomings are not the ultimate truth about you. I will be with you."

Brad noted that many of us are in the same spot as Moses. God has a purpose for us, but we have objections. One of our shortcomings is that we do not understand God's grace. Often we're still beating ourselves up for past failings. God says, "I know who you are and it doesn't matter."

After Moses encountered God in the bush his next question was "Who are you?" God replied, "I am who I am." There are no layers of bureaucracy with God. God desires to be known and invites us to know him.

Next, God turns Moses' staff into a serpent, then tells Moses to grab it by the tail. Despite Moses' natural inclination to run from a snake, at God's command he takes hold of it and it turns back into a staff. There are two Hebrew words that could be used that mean grab or take hold of. The first describes a somewhat calm action. This is the verb God used. The second means to snatch it with force. Exodus records that Moses grabbed it in this latter manner, not exactly what God intended.

Then Moses was instructed to put his hand underneath his cloak, which when pulled out was leprous. God restores the hand, and seems to be saying, "I will do amazing things with these simple things."

Pastor Brad showed how this has always been God's way. A few loaves and fishes feed five thousand. Five talents are multiplied extravagantly. A mustard seed fills the whole earth.

So, what's in your hand?

Moses still was not ready, however. "Whoa, I have never been eloquent," Moses told God. But God replied, "Who made mouths, Moses? I made your mouth. I can fill it with amazing words."
Brad said this exchange seemed to foreshadow the spiritual gifts of the New Testament. Are you using your gifts?

Moses still balked. "Please pick someone else," Moses said. God showed mercy by bringing in his brother Aaron to go along. This is a picture of the value of community. We do God's work together.

Who's your Aaron?

An interesting thing about the story here is that while Moses goes on to liberate his people, you never find out what happened to the burning bush. You find out what happens to Moses and Israel, to Pharaoh and his soldiers, but what happened to the burning bush. Pastor said, "I believe it's still burning... and God is waiting for people who will turn aside. I think God is waiting for that right now.

The celebration of the sacrament of Communion followed.